Reviving the Rivalry  

The tradition of Achaean and Ionian competitions returns to the Hilltop.


 

On the first Friday night in October, Student Body President Javier Alonso Valcarcel ’22, an Achaean, and Student Body Vice President Cate Gallagher ’22, an Ionian, reignited the more than a century-old, yearlong tradition of Achaeans versus Ionians. While in recent years the rivalry has been reserved for Mashamoquet Day, this year the tribes will face off on the first Friday of each month. Javier and Cate announced their plan for the series of competitions during a recent School Meeting. The School was shocked and amused to see them wearing toga as a nod to the rival Greek tribe names Pomfret selected for the teams of the friendly competition in the early 1900s. Despite the near-freezing temperatures, they sported the costumes as they led their teams in three historically themed events. 


The first competition was chariot racing. In place of horse and chariots, the students used sleeping bags — galloping across the Quad, towing their teammates behind them. If you used your imagination it looked reminisce of a colosseum — the fields as the arena for the battle of the rivals, and the Bricks, Olmsted Student Union, and Centennial Academic & Arts Center as the viewing area — with students peering and cheering out windows.  

The second event was the Javelin throw. Students launched pool noodles down the Quad hoping their throw would surpass their opponents' attempt.  The final event of the evening, the Atlas Challenge, had students balancing a stack of cups while racing across a “field of lava” or oobleck — a mixture of cornstarch and water which will solidify if moved too quickly.


Thanks to the speed and steady hands of Ionians' MVP Wonji Choi '24, they won the final challenge and captured the overall win on the first night of competition. In naming Wonji the MVP, Cate added, “The Ionians were awesome! We are the team to beat.” Tyler Brown '23 was named the Achaean's MVP for his sacrifice and dedication to the competition. The next competition will be held on November 5 when the Achaeans hope to even the score. 

 

Photos by Jay Chun ’24 and Jihyeok Hong '23.

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